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> Spotify feels aggrieved that Apple does not allow it to develop software for certain of their hardware lines, such as Homepod or Apple Watch. Why do I have to allow you to develop software for my proprietary hardware, just because it's technically possible?

I see your point but you could flip that a 3rd way:

"Consumers pay for their hardware - they own the device - so why should manufacturers tell consumers what they can or cannot install on their hardware?"

I grew up in an era when hardware wasn't so tightly coupled with software. In fact you could go further than that and mod your hardware with custom chips and so on without violating anything more than your warranty. So I find this current era where consumers are expected to pay high prices for hardware and still not have any rights over that platform to be a massive con.






Here's the thing: consumers paid (voluntarily) for an iPhone that has the restriction that apps must be bought / acquired / loaded through the App Store. So, yes, they own the device that has this restriction. If they didn't want this device, they could have bought one of the many devices that doesn't, as approximately 75% percent of people do globally.

I've had both Android and iPhones and honestly they're much the same. Google gives you a little more freedom in app development but you lose a lot of privacy. Neither company champions jailbreaking.

Ultimately there isn't a single consumer handset out there that has the same principles of "now you own the device it's yours to do with as you like". Consumer tech just doesn't operate that way any more.


Lots of Android phones have unlocked bootloaders and it's easy to sideload apps without rooting/jailbreaking.

Some handsets might have an unlocked boot loader but that’s only half the battle. It doesn’t mean there will be a working port of Android available, that any proprietary hardware will be supported nor that you’d get the full features of Android (at least not legally since the Google Play is only available for licensed OEMs).

Also I’d already acknowledged that it was easier and cheaper to sideload apps on Android.

Before you jump in and say something like “why should OEMs / Google offer you all this stuff for free etc”, I do completely agree. This isn’t a rant at Google (nor Apple) specifically but just at the state of technology these days. It’s not just an issue about geeks like us having ownership of our devices, it’s also creating a problem for environmental waste since it’s becoming increasingly hard to upgrade or replace parts. Laptops have components soldered in and old phones often end up in landfills. It’s such a shame to see.

Anyhow, I’ve drifted way off topic. Sorry for that


So you want both freedom over software you install and strong privacy and security.

This will be fine for HN folks but will result in the erasure of security and privacy for normal users.


Not necessarily. However I’m under no disillusion that I’m anything but an edge case.

Totally see that. But you can still sideload an app onto an iPhone or Mac and hack around. People were getting Windows onto their x86 Macs before Bootcamp, for example. The point of Homepod is that it does nothing else, by design: it's a device for playing Apple Music on. I don't see a distinction between forcing Apple to open up iOS for installation on any hardware.

>But you can still sideload an app onto an iPhone

Can you?


Yes. You can sideload an app with Xcode, but you're need a Mac/Hackintosh to do that, plus the sideloaded app needs to be re-sideloaded after a certain amount of time. The feature is more for developers than normal users.

As an Example, Dash <https://kapeli.com/dash_ios> used that method for a while when they were suspended from the app store. But their audience is developers.

Yup. Look at the way Facebook and others circumvented the app store using certification recently.

You still need certificates from Apple in order to do so. So your ability to sideload requires a $99 subscription to the iOS development program and the continued support of Apple.

I believe that's Enterprise certificate, internally use only, can't distribute directly to customers.



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